Acta Physico-Chimica Sinica ›› 2020, Vol. 36 ›› Issue (6): 1904027.doi: 10.3866/PKU.WHXB201904027

Special Issue: Thermal Analysis Kinetics and Thermokinetics

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Shape-Dependent Catalytic Activity of Nano-Fe2O3 on the Thermal Decomposition of TKX-50

Ming Zhang,Fengqi Zhao*(),Yanjing Yang,Hui Li,Jiankan Zhang,Wenzhe Ma,Hongxu Gao,Na Li   

  • Received:2019-04-06 Accepted:2019-04-22 Published:2019-12-18
  • Contact: Fengqi Zhao
  • Supported by:
    the National Natural Science Foundation of China(21173163);the National Natural Science Foundation of China(21503163)


Energy components used in solid rocket propellants are beneficial for improving the energy performance, and their thermal decomposition characteristics significantly affect the combustion properties of the propellants. As a kind of energetic material with both high energy and low sensitivity (impact and friction), 5, 5'-bistetrazole-1, 1'-diolate (TKX-50) can effectively improve the energy and safety characteristics of solid propellants. Burning catalyst is another important component of solid propellants, which can significantly improve the burning rate of the propellant and reduce the pressure exponent. Among various burning catalysts, nanoscale transition metal oxides can promote the thermal decomposition of the energetic component, thus enhancing the combustion properties of the solid propellant. However, the catalytic effects of nanoscale transition metal oxides with different morphologies on the thermal decomposition of TKX-50 have rarely been studied. Based on the excellent catalytic activity of Fe2O3 for TKX-50 thermal decomposition, nano-Fe2O3 particles with spherical and tubular microstructures were used for TKX-50 thermal decomposition. The Fe2O3 nanoparticles were successfully fabricated via the solvothermal method and characterized by scanning electron microscope (SEM), transmission electron microscope (TEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) analyses. The XRD, FT-IR, and XPS results confirmed the successful fabrication of spherical and tubular Fe2O3 samples. The SEM and TEM images showed that the spherical Fe2O3 samples are composed of agglomerated Fe2O3 nanoparticles with an average particle size of 110 nm. In addition, the average diameter and length of hollow tubular Fe2O3 nanoparticles are 120 nm and 200 nm, respectively. The catalytic activities of spherical and tubular Fe2O3 for TKX-50 decomposition were studied by thermogravimetric analysis (TG) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) methods. The DSC and TG-DTG curves showed that both tubular and spherical Fe2O3 could effectively promote TKX-50 thermal decomposition. The first thermal decomposition peak temperature (TFDP) of TKX-50 was reduced by 36.5 K and 26.3 K in the presence of tubular and spherical Fe2O3, respectively, at 10 K·min1. The activation energy (Ea) of TKX-50, determined by the iso-conversional method, was significantly reduced in the presence of both tubular and spherical Fe2O3. The results indicated that the microstructure of the catalyst has a significant effect on its catalytic performance for TKX-50 thermal decomposition, and that tubular Fe2O3 with hollow microstructure possesses better catalytic activity than spherical Fe2O3. The excellent catalytic activity of tubular Fe2O3 can be attributed to the hollow microstructure, which has more active sites for TKX-50 thermal decomposition.

Key words: Fe2O3, Thermal decomposition, TKX-50, morphology, Catalysis


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